Category Archives: I Ching

Rethinking Change

March 24th marks the launch of my YouTube Channel, RETHINKING CHANGE.

Here, I’m sharing with you the link to the Premier video, as well  as the script which appears below.

Rethinking Change Banner

Hello and Welcome to Rethinking Change. I’m Pat West.

So. Let’s start right in with a riddle. Here’s a list of thought leaders in fields like:

  • Finance – Napoleon Hill. Robert Kiyasaki.
  • Science – Gregg Braden.
  • Healing – Joe Dispenza.
  • Energy Work – Donna Eden, Jeffrey Allen.
  • Hypnosis – Marisa Peer.
  • Martial arts — Bruce Lee
  • . . . . the  list goes on

But here’s the question. What do they have in common? By the end of this video, you’ll have the answer to that question, as well as an appreciation for the value Rethinking Change has to offer you  and those you care for.

As a special bonus, at the end, I’ll share with you what the Book of Change has to say about the COVID-19 pandemic. As you’ll come to find out, the I Ching is the foundation of energy medicine and Tai Chi. It’s the missing link we need NOW to survive and thrive in this intense time of extremes. I think you’ll find its message . . very interesting.

You’re probably wondering by now, who I am to be saying all of this. Well, there’s a long version, because I have plenty of stranger-than-fiction stories to share with you in good time. But here’s the short version.

I was trained as a musician. I played piano and various string instruments — guitar, a bit of sitar, but primarily violin. I shared this life-saver in common with my man, Einstein, who was also a violinist. It led me to yoga and to the magical, marvelous I Ching, the Book of Change, which maps the laws of nature, the repeating cycles of change which everyone everywhere share in common. For more than 8,000 years, it’s been used as a decision-making tool by leaders in every walk of life, all over the world. It’s used to bypass danger, optimize opportunities and to maintain balance in the midst of change.

Psychologist Carl Jung wrote an introduction to the Wilhelm/Baynes translation. He taught us to use it as a tool for making the unconscious conscious.

In 1975, I wrote my own version. It still works for me. My idea was, it shouldn’t be so tough . . and it should be made available to everyone. You can find it on Amazon. It’s called The Common Sense Book of Change.

I’ve been growing with the book for over 40 years now, taking it with me through every imaginable situation to understand the dynamics that drive human behavior. It’s become a good friend and mentor. More than once, it’s saved my life. If you want to know more, you can check out my website, rethinking survival.com. You’ll find several related posts. One is “The I Ching and Me.” Another is “How the Common Sense Book of Change (CSBOC) Came To Be.

In the late 1970s, I earned a Ph.D. in Educational Administration. From writing books to fill the shelves that weren’t there when I needed them, I went on to earn the credential to build schools to fill what I call the fatal knowledge gap in what we’re taught in schools.

Basically, though, what you need to know about me is summed up in my latest book, You Are Already Enough: How Would Your Life CHANGE if you really Believed It? There, I give you my personal Why, How and What.

Basically, though, what you need to know about me is summed up in my latest book, You Are Already Enough: How Would Your Life CHANGE if you really Believed It? There, I give you my personal Why, How and What.

My WHY is to pay forward the extraordinary blessings I’ve received over a lifetime. I experience it as a calling. My HOW has been to write books, blog, give an occasional class, and now, to create content for this YouTube channel. My WHAT, the end result I’m aiming for, is to restore sanity to a badly fractured world, one person at a time.

Okay then. The Book of Change is one self-awareness tool. The second is a spin-off. And here things get even more interesting.

I came to it by applying yoga sutras to Einstein. Take the archetypal Life Wheel that repeats through all cultures and all times, well known to meditators. Then take the variables of Einstein’s formula – M = mass, E = energy, C = light – and plug them into the increasingly deeper levels of the Life Wheel. The result is the Unified Field Theory – including the elusive “consciousness factor.” Einstein had already received it, but for lack of yoga training, he missed it.

02a. Unfied Field Theory

Now. . . . just like the Ching’s repetitive cycle of hexagrams, this quantum pattern of creation also repeats throughout nature, on every scale of magnitude . . . smallest to largest, from atoms to solar systems. It repeats in every cell of our bodies. In Already Enough, I give pictures of this pattern repeating throughout nature and world art.

But what’s important to emphasize here is that this isn’t just an interesting, abstract idea. The formula e=m2 has powerful applications, for destruction – the atomic bomb – as well as creation. We can personalize the Life Wheel to make it real in our own lives. We can use it to assess how we’re doing, to identify what’s missing, decide what we intend to change, and then to plan how to get from here to there. It’s a powerful tool. It can bring us back from an incomplete, fractured lifestyle into full alignment with our true complete nature, the original design of creation.

Here’s just one picture of what wheel-work looks like:

happy face

And here’s my Why, How and What prioritized inside the Life Wheel structure.

My Why, How & What

So. The answer to the riddle I asked at the beginning . . is this. What all those thought leaders share in common is an intuitive fidelity to this basic structure, the quantum reality embodied in the Life Wheel. It explains . . for example. . the effectiveness of Napoleon’s Hill Think and Grow Rich formula. And so on. . . In You Are Already Enough!, I show that, just as Einstein’s formula plugs into the Life Wheel, so do the ideas that get the powerful results each of these thought leaders has achieved.

Before moving on to the COVID-19 section, I briefly want to tell you this. When I was brainstorming for future video content, the list got huge . . . because the Life Wheel truly meets the Occam’s Razor standard of greatest simplicity with maximum inclusiveness.

Once you start rethinking change, seeing how the dynamics expand and contract from the inside out, and how the levels of the Life Wheel link up . . the possibilities become infinite. It’s like, anywhere you focus the laser beam, it illumines the field.

Here’s a short list of potential subjects:

  • The MPI standard – motive, purpose, and intent. (Being aware of what you’re doing and why.)
  • Abundance. Magic. Manifestation. Wealth.
  • Change. Change agents. Affirmative action. Positive Action.
  • Unity. The United States.
  • Conflict. Common sense. The law of Karma. Ethics.
  • Creativity. Intuition. Self-awareness. Self-actualization.
  • Relationships. Empaths and narcissists.
  • Interdependence. Cooperation.
  • Communication. Community. Intentional community.
  • Education. Higher Education. Paradigm shifts. And opportunity.
  • Authority. Inner authority. Conscience.
  • Medicine. Healing. Mindfulness. Meditation.
  • Codes. The Emotion Code. The Healing Code.
  • Stress. The suicide epidemic and its prevention.

So, if you have any preferences among those topics or other related questions you’d like me to address, please comment below and I’ll do my best to respond. And please do take the time to like, share and subscribe, so we can get this urgently needed information out to a badly fractured world that – for lack of it – is in SUCH deep trouble.

Now, here’s the COVID-19 bonus I promised you.

There are many ways to approach the Book of Change. It starts with finding a quiet place and settling down the noisy mind. After deciding on a question, there’s a process for arriving at an answer. I’m saving the technical side for later. Today, I’m going straight to the answer I got on March 14th to this written question: “What advice does the Book of Change have to offer the general public about the COVID-19 pandemic?”

The initial outcome was 14, SELF-POSSESSION. It looks like this:

14 Self-Possession

It seems to me that the general public expects leaders to demonstrate calmness, integrity, and fairness. We want them to give us a clear picture of what’s going on. Deep down, we really want leaders who inspire us.

However, the initial answer was dynamic. It had two changing lines that offer warnings or advice. These combined to result in a different outcome.

The advice from line four is “Do not compete with others. Use your skills to build.” It advises restraint and to avoid careless waste. So I would be concerned that precious time is being wasted, that this crisis is being used BY SOME as a political football, and that it’s possible resources being mobilized might to some extent be misdirected.

The advice from line five reads “When you prove yourself responsible, others will trust you.” The shadow side here is that unless leaders prove themselves trustworthy, people won’t trust them.

But even when there’s restraint and responsibility, the second outcome remains FRUSTRATION. This makes good sense. We have expectations that aren’t always being met. It’s related to the leadership issue, but just as importantly . . . we need to be aware that there’s a lot going on – hidden – behind the scenes. Things aren’t exactly what they seem.

Number 9 reads: External factors you may not even be aware of will cause FRUSTRATION. New projects will not work out now. This cannot be avoided. Arguing will not influence those who could help. Your choice is either to wait patiently or to leave the situation. “

So it seems to me that right now we’re in for a waiting game. Getting emotionally caught up in the upheavals that have been set in motion would be counter-productive. To the extent that worry is a waste of time, refocusing attention . . . rethinking the change going on all around us . . . is a better option.

So, the next question that arises is Where should we turn our attention? For one thing, I would look for the opportunities hidden within current dangers, because it’s a rule of Natural Law that in duality, there are two sides to every coin.

It’s quite possible we’ve been looking in the wrong places for IMPORTANT answers. And that the Book itself is welcoming the pandemic as an opportunity to reintroduce itself as an inspirational way to access the deeper energy and light levels of our Life Wheels for a better understanding what’s truly going on – within ourselves . . . as well as in the world around us.

NOW this opens WIDE the door to a whole new world. I will continue this thread in my next video, which I’m calling “Blessings in Disguise.”

So, here’s what you can expect from now on. In each Thursday video, I’ll balance discussion with a hands-on reading from different versions of the Book of Change. The plan is to illumine key issues in terms of the Life Wheel pattern, supported by readings to make the Book of Change increasingly more familiar.

Again. Please comment below. Like, share and subscribe. Hit the bell to be notified each time I publish a new video. And I’ll see you again next time. Until then, do take good care of yourselves.

Rethinking SURVIVAL

Today’s post is written with a wink and a nod towards the venerable Bruce Lipton, who confirmed through science what the ancients earlier believed about our eternal spirit.

I’m winking because I totally empathize with the frustration you experienced, being ahead of your times, virtually unheard for decades. The good news is, however long it took, the public is finally getting there.

Being in my 74th year, I too have waited a long time, the patient custodian of work with the potential to alter the outcomes of our extreme times. This work augments yours.

I’m nodding towards you here, thinking perhaps getting your attention could make a difference in whether this vitally important work finally sees the light of day.

The stakes could not be higher, so here’s my best shot. But not to worry. I’ll keep it simple and interesting, so the taste of this sample leaves you wanting more.

My point has three parts:

  • Part One describes your discovery and how it validates ancient wisdomin particular, Lao Tze.
  • Part Two looks forward towards the work I could bring to the table. It complements both empirical science and ancient wisdom – in particular, the Life Wheel which embodies Einstein’s Unified Field Theory. (Yes, though unawares, he had, in fact, received it.)
  • Part Three looks at apparently contradictory definitions of “survival.” I place them in the context of the Life Wheel, the better to confirm that part of us which never dies, and, further, to suggest how best to use that knowledge to regenerate ourselves and in the process, create a better future.

Phoenix - sized

Part One. Here, in your own words, transcribed from a 2015 Youtube video, “A Message of Love,” is the story of your transformational discovery:

The most profound teachers I ever sat before . . . were so magnificent that I can’t fully put [their lessons] into words. Who were those teachers? They were the cells that I was working on in a petri dish. Talking to them. Watching them, day-by-day. Seeing how they lived. And then opening to the message.

That message?

They showed me from my point of view and my reference to life, that there was something called “spirituality” that I didn’t know existed. . . . And the moment I saw the mechanics of how a signal from the universe comes into my body-suit, my virtual reality suit. . . There was this instant of recognition. I said, “Oh my God! I can’t die!”

The result:

It was an OWNING of spirit. . . And the moment I owned it, a weight I never even knew I was carrying around . . . whoosh . . . disappeared. Because I became free for the first time to recognize I’m here for something other than my [mundane] life. I’m going to own who I AM. I’m a spirit that has come to this planet to experience and to create and to manifest heaven on earth.. . It’s an understanding that it’s all driven by love.

Now, in the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tze repeatedly confirms what you experienced as our inherent immortality. For example, Passage 16 describes the creative process:

16 quote

Conscious life continues on, rooted in a reality larger than a single lifetime. Passage 54 tells us:

54 quote

Passage 33 urges us to be steadfast in our experience of eternal life:

33 quote

Even further, when meditators intentionally pierce the veil of illusion, traveling back through and beyond time and space, they are, as Dr. Joe Dispenza puts it, “reborn in the same life time.”

Or, in your words:

I now have two lives. I have previous learning life. Struggle, anger, control, trying to fix everything. And I have post experience. A calmness. An understanding that it’s all driven by love. Even if other people can’t see through their filters of criticism, they’re still driven by love. Every one of you is a piece of all that IS. Every one of you!

The first Passage from my version, Two Sides of a Coin, gives words to the way ancients experienced travel beyond time:01

Tai Chi Tu

Part Two. Now, how do we identify and connect with that unchanging source, the “unified center achieved in stillness” of which Lao Tze speaks? Where is it located? Within us? Outside and all around us? Both?

To quote myself:

In working with wisdom traditions, I’ve become certain that each is striving to express a particular aspect of a single, unnameable Truth. Further, each is a mosaic piece of a larger picture. When the pieces are put together, the sum is greater than its parts.

The Positive Paradigm of Change adapted from the Life Wheel is that larger picture. It draws from wisdom traditions, both East and West. It is consistent with biblical teachings and the essence of I Ching philosophy. It is yoga-compatible. In addition, it’s equally compatible with modern science.

In Rethinking Survival, the Positive Paradigm of Change is described as:

. . . . a new, inclusive reality map, one people worldwide can easily comprehend and agree upon. It is equally compatible with scriptures and science, bridging the gap between them. It fulfills Einstein’s intuited search for the Unified Field Theory, picturing how all parts of creation are related, interwoven and interdependent.

Working with the Positive Paradigm empowers the “substantially new manner of thinking,” which, Einstein said, is necessary “if mankind is to survive.”

It looks like this:

Unified Field Theory

The Positive Paradigm wheels-within-wheels model consists of concentric circles around a common center. It places the three variables of Albert Einstein’s famous formula, e = mc2 (energy, mass and light) in a two-directional, infinite continuum.

This Synthesis Wheel mirrors the microcosmic structure of atoms as well as the macrocosmic structure of planetary systems. On the largest scale of magnitude, it reflects the in- and out-breaths of perpetually expanding and contracting universes.

This familiar structure repeats smallest to largest in the patterns of nature, from snow flakes and intricate flowers to spiders’ webs and sea shells. Similar patterns repeat worldwide in the art of every culture — including the prayer wheels of Native Americans, the colored sand mandalas of Tibetan Buddhists, the stained glass windows of European cathedrals and the intricate geometrical patterns covering Muslim mosques. They offer proof of the universal awareness of a central inner reality, of an inner structure common to all humanity, and to a continuity of experience deeper than individual lives or transitory cultures.

Elsewhere, I’ve described its value thusly:

This Wheel of Change is a paradigm, meaning a worldview. It offers a positive alternative to the prevailing, dysfunctional paradigms which cause so much misery. It is an inclusive reality map that accords with the way life truly is, showing the full spectrum of human potentials. It explains how the world works, how the individual fits into it, and what is required to truly survive.

Unlike exclusively materialistic, atheistic, hedonist or religionist paradigms, all levels of experience are present, and in balanced, aligned relationship with each other. Nothing is missing. Nothing is out of place.

This paradigm pictures an elegantly simple yet complete reality map that meets the standard of Occam’s razor: maximum inclusiveness with greatest simplicity.

I explain the levels, with this caveat:

Yoga scriptures correlate the three levels of the Wheel with three different states of consciousness. Most of us experience the states of waking, sleep and dreamless sleep separately. However, it is possible to experience the entire continuum simultaneously while remaining fully conscious.

In the terms of modern brain science, this is accomplished by not only integrating functions of the right and left hemispheres of the brain, but by simultaneously coordinating the full span of vibrational brain wave frequencies from fastest (beta) to slowest (delta). The fully enlightened sage’s experience of linking the levels is called “turyia.” In that state, a highly accomplished being is said to be “here and there at the same time.”

The concentric circles aren’t literally separate and discrete. Rather, they are a continuum along the infinite spectrum of creation. Within each layer are numerous distinctions verified only by direct experience. For the sake of the following discussion, however, the three levels are described as if discrete, starting from the surface of the Wheel and moving inwards.

And with that said, here are the three states:

m = mass. The outer rim of the circle is the realm of the material, manifested world of creation. This level is the abode of empirical science which measures tangible, measurable things. It is the plane of duality, the fluctuating ebb and flow of mortal life, the ups and downs of daily experience.

It is the realm into which public school education too often squeezes and flattens children. This is the level of which Einstein said, “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”

Those focused excessively here are unduly attached to material possessions as well as to money, social status and institutional power. Here appearances are more important than substance. Saving face replaces authentic virtue.

Paradoxically, out of balance, abundance on the material plane seems to foster an insatiable sense of lack. Limited connection with the center breeds insecurities and greed. The infinite variations on the same eternal forms are misconstrued as grounds for cultural conflict and competition for illusory supremacy.

When people live primarily on the surface, with the middle (primarily “unconscious”) level clogged and in conflict, systems break down. Attempting to fix problems caused by this inner turmoil at the superficial level can not achieve any lasting, qualitative improvement.

e = energy. Much ignorance, misinformation and confusion surrounds the energy level of the Wheel. The state of chaos into which the world has degenerated attests to this deficiency, as well as the urgent need to correct it.

The middle level is the domain of Natural Law mapped in the Chinese I Ching, the Book of Change. These changes are the energetic underpinnings of the dynamic, physical world, experienced as the recurring cycles of seasonal change, as well as humans cycles of birth, growth, decay, death and rebirth.

The middle layer is the realm of less tangible but still measurable states of energy, including electricity. More subtly, it is the chi, ki or prana described in Asian traditions as the life force which animates all living beings. In Greek and Christian contexts it correlates with the breath, the psyche.

These subtle energies influence internal [most often ‘unconscious’] psychological states and drive external human behavior, which in turn affects social relationships. A clear understanding of these dynamics is essential to personal survival.

Now, as you’ll recall, I earlier asked, “How do we identify and connect with that unchanging source, the “unified center achieved in stillness” of which Lao Tze speaks? Where is it located?”

The answer rests deep within the levels of “Light” and “Source of Light” at the central hub of the Wheel:

c = light. The hub of the wheel, the Source of Light, is innermost state of being. It is silent yet fertile, that from which all forms emanate and to which all return. It is the alpha and omega, the ultimate and exclusive source of infinite light and power.

Merging with this all-encompassing source of consciousness is what scriptures refer to, quite literally, as “enlightenment.”

The deepest center is the original seed of life from which creative solutions and new beginnings emerge in answer to the prayers and sincere efforts of those who hear and do. It’s the unfailing source, deeper than ephemeral fears, which gives survivors the inner strength to withstand the sudden shocks and catastrophic changes of Titanic times.

The experience of light is described with worlds like inspiration, intuition or guidance.

Unlike the levels of mass and energy, which can be described at length from experience, the center of light is best honored in silence. Or at least as few words as possible.

0 Hush

Here’s just one example of the myriad ways the Life Wheel is adapted to picture deep understanding. It plugs Passage One into the levels of the Wheel, depicting Lao Tze’s travel away from previous life learning – struggle, anger and control on the outer rim of the Life Wheel – towards the innermost, post-experience of supreme calm.

Inward-pointing arrows trace the path of release; outward-pointing arrows point towards physical manifestation. In the words of the biblical God of Moses, this repetitive, full-circle dynamic is spoken as a command: “Return unto me and I return unto you.”

II-8 rev

Way cool, huh!

Part Three. At the outset, I promised to look at apparently contradictory definitions of “survival” by placing them in Life Wheel context. Briefly, it’s important to rescue the word from the negative context of stress. Survival emotions are counterproductive. However, survival also means to continue to exist through dangerous situations, to live when death seemed imminent. It can be associated with being alive and enduring. Viable ancient customs and beliefs, for example, are said to survive through the ages.

The ongoing concern of this website, RethinkingSurvival.com is based on this premise:

Human survival, Einstein warned us, can no longer be taken for granted. Tipping the scales of history in favor of survival depends on freeing ourselves from the mental prison of limited, delusional thinking.

Again, quoting myself:

Chances of success in life are slim to none without an accurate reality map. It’s imperative to have a complete picture of your potentials along with a correct understanding of the world around you, and what’s required to survive in that world. Basing decisions on a worldview that’s distorted, incomplete or otherwise out of synch with the way things really are seriously diminishes chances of survival. In times as dangerous as these, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re operating on complete and correct information.

To the point, just briefly, I’ll introduce the Fifth Axiom derived from the Positive Paradigm. “History Is Neither Progressive or Linear, Nor can Human Survival Be Taken for Granted.”

The final Corollary E: An apparent death sentence makes time remaining all the more precious. In biblical terms, awareness of impending disaster is motive and opportunity to repent (meaning to change one’s heart and ways), and to atone (meaning to realign – be ‘at one’ – with the center), using the gift of whatever time is left gratefully, wisely and well.

Some will actually defy medical/historical prognosis and survive to carry on, whether it be here, in other dimensions or even different universes. (Science fiction fans of TV’s two-hearted, regenerating time traveler Dr. Who are well-acquainted with these possibilities.)

CONCLUSION

Bruce, your time has arrived. You get to travel the world, sharing your insights. I’d love to do the same. But mine has yet to come. The I Ching, the super-ancient foundation of Lao Tze’s wisdom, has yet to be reintroduced, refurbished, for survivors who urgently need access to the cosmic clock. Its 64 hexagrams (does that non-coincidental number make you think of DNA?! ), and each of the six-level AC-DC, binary-digital constructs are a short-hand representing the dynamic interactions amongst the six primary energy centers. . . tons of information is stored here like buried treasure to be recovered through diligent re-search. (Understatement.)

But, just maybe, my reaching out to a fellow early-adaptive thinker might change that. After all, within the quantum field of God, all things are possible!

N.B. I’ve already written a post for your compadre, Gregg Braden. On the drawing board is another, on Creativity and Genius, favorite words of another amigo, Joe Dispenza. So is a final one, The Universal Pattern.

Ripples in Time

 

 

Invitation to Gregg Braden

Dear Gregg,

Repeatedly, I find myself astonished at how closely our wisdom quests have run parallel. It is as if we were spiritual twins, the same but, at the same time, compliments. That is to say, just as you have traveled to places I haven’t been, my work fills in blanks where yours has left you with unanswered questions.

I addressed one of your questions in an earlier post:

Physicists throughout the world are struggling to build a new story of you, me, our creation and the beginning of our universe, because the old story is no longer working. Science has been struggling to come up with a Unified Field Theory.

You continued:

They cannot find that unified field because their thinking  . . is incomplete. The piece they’ve left out is consciousness. (37:20) Traditionally, scientists have been reluctant or resistant to include consciousness in the Unified Theory.

I’ve supplied that missing piece, placing the variables of Einstein’s theory within the concentric circles of the Life Wheel which has appeared in sacred art throughout the world for thousands of years. The result is the Unified Field Theory Einstein already had, but missed. It is consistent with Yoga Sutras and the Old Testament as well as with quantum physics. It embodies the timeless secret of creation.

Unified Field Theory

Even more exciting, this model can be activated and personalized in countless ways to picture the fractures and distortions we bring to our personal and organizational lives. Creating new Life Wheels becomes a means for designing intentional futures, ones aligned with original wholeness.

The second, related question you posed was this:

If I came to this world from another world and I could ask one question . . . I would ask, What is the one thing that we have in this world that would wake us up and remind us that we’re a family, that we are more than the differences that have separated us in the past and that we are too precious to kill ourselves in war? What is the one thing that could be awakened in this lifetime and shared with every human on the face of the earth that will remind them of that truth?

Your question resonates with the ancient one posed in the Manduka Upanishad, “What is that, knowing which, all else is known?”

Here, in the form of a picture worth a thousand words, is my response. It speaks to yet another, similar question from Joseph Campbell (popular student of comparative world religions):

We don’t have a mythology for people recognizing the humanity of a person on the other side of the hemisphere. I’ve often wondered if some of the notions coming out of quantum physics, quantum interconnectedness, don’t express that.

This picture modifies the concentric circles of Albert Einstein’s Unified Field Theory, placing his beloved compass (seed of compass-ion) at the heart of the Life Wheel, honoring his well-known warning:

A human being is part of the whole called by us ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest . . . This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.

Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. . We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive. [emphasis added]

circle compass of compassion

Now, Gregg, what we share in common is a profound, even urgent sense that at this time in history, the mosaic pieces scattered throughout various wisdom traditions must be recovered and integrated, the better to survive and prevail through the testing times that lie before us.

A major contribution I make to your work is my enduring respect for the Chinese I Ching, the Book of Change . . . a subject aptly suited to this time of rapidly accelerating change. It is the ancient of ancients, predating even the Sanskrit Vedas. It informed the understandings which resulted in my Life Wheel work, which Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras serve to confirm.

As written:

This is a book that truly belongs to the world. It transcends, in its essence, the limitations of time and space. Used correctly, as intended, it leads the ordinary mind towards experiences of self-awareness and transformative transcendence.

Further:

The Book of Change combines the best of many worlds. On the one hand, it is pure logic and math. Its binary-digital code long predates both Leibniz’s calculus and computer science.

On the other hand, it leads inwards, serving to link the material world of physical experience (empirical science) with its ultimate source (the realm of con-science).

Working with it, one starts in immediate, practical experience, with the option to travel to the opposite end of the reality scale, merging with the mystical. This interactive book, regarded by some as magical, depends on the phenomena of synchronicity to link person, time and events in the decision-making process.

In The Ultimate Gatekeeper, I supplied preliminary hints.

The extraordinary value of the I Ching is that it reveals the secrets of dynamic Natural Law. Working with its changes opens access to the middle level of the Life Wheel, the “e = energy” layer of Einstein’s Unified Field Theory.

Further:

Unfortunately, the middle level is too often clogged with painful memories, negative emotions and repressed, socially taboo urges. It becomes a barrier to deeper knowing . . . .

For eight thousand years and counting, the Book of Change has served as an indispensable tool for resolving this dilemma. Used as intended, it can restore the unnecessarily “unconscious” to conscious awareness, opening levels of potential so they can be aligned and unified. . . .

To the extent that the Natural Law of energy dynamics remains a blind spot in the prevailing, linear and exclusively empirical paradigm, we are left powerless to move beyond the surface level of experience.. . .

Making this compendium of Natural Law — the premier leadership training and decision-making manual in China for thousands of years — widely accessible now is necessary in order to fill in this fatal knowledge gap.

It also suggests how and why meditative practices can “upgrade” DNA:

The 64 changes of the Book of Change have been correlated with the 64 basic strands of DNA. Nor is it coincidence that Chinese ideogram for I Ching bears a striking resemblance to the double helix of DNA.

side by side

In Stay Alert to Cosmic Patterns, I described benefits of working with the Book of Change:

For ordinary mortals (like me), who aren’t always present and clear, the discipline of settling down the physical body and quieting the mind is a great help. Then, the practice of carefully defining the immediate situation leads to the formulation of coherent questions. In this higher, open and receptive frequency of mind, magic can happen. You bridge the gap between now and the future. It’s experienced as a synchronous connection between yourself and timeless wisdom – call it intuition or angelic guidance, as you will.

In Self-Awareness Tools for Empaths, I offered this perspective:

The text has a long history. In the last century, psychologist Carl Jung picked up on it. In his introduction to the first genuinely useful English translation, Jung coined the term “synchronicity” to explain its power – precipitating seemingly magical and awesome non-local connections of understanding, insight, and awareness.

This affect may be due to the similarity between the opening and closing lines of the 64 hexagrams and the geometric patterns seen by meditators in deep trance. (Dr. Joe Dispenza is a fan of synchronisities. He tells students, as they grow in their meditative practice, to look for confirming synchronisities to appear in their lives.)

Tai Chi Tu

Now, I have followed your work for many years. Why have I chosen to contact you only now? . . . .  the date September 28, 2019 is a pivotal one. I quote at length to explain.

Right now we are experiencing significant energy shifts. Many of us are integrating significant energy changes at every level of being. A major contributing factor is the Schumann resonance. It represents the frequency of the Earth’s electromagnetic field, usually measured at around 7.83 Hertz.

It has had very few major variations since the 1950s. However, since June of 2014 [not coincidentally the year I published the RethinkingSurvival website] there have been many changes in the Schumann resonance. The vibration of what is essentially the Earth’s heartbeat has been accelerating. Just this past week, the frequency reached up to 99 Hertz. That’s a huge leap.

As human beings we have our own frequencies relative to our own electromagnetic fields and naturally attune our frequency to that of the Earth’s heartbeat.

The Earth’s frequency has a significant impact on how we feel, particularly physically affecting our brain waves and nervous systems. And we know that what changes in the body changes also in the mind and the spirit.

The Earth is undergoing a major change and human spiritual collective consciousness is changing right along with it. This vibration, this cosmic music, is working to heal us as a collective, in part by flushing out stored emotional memories, most especially traumatic thinking and behavioral patterning.

Once we have cleared out the past negative patterns, our consciousness, as well as our bodies and souls, will naturally be able to follow and match the cosmic metronome in a harmonious, unified manner.

The higher purpose and meaning of this is UNITY. We are growing into greater awareness of our unity with all.

Phoenix - sized

 

Stay Alert To Cosmic Patterns

Ripples in Time

Be here and now.” This is the yogi’s mantra.

Be still and know I Am God.” This is the Bible’s instruction.

In the Secret Universal Mind Meditation, Kelley Howell intones, “I am one with God. I am one with God’s plan.”

What do seers attuned to the Universal Mind tell us about that plan for the future?

Dr. Joe Dispenza and Gregg Braden describe this as a time of extremes. Dr. Joe understands that there’s some chaos coming. Gregg goes further. He says, not only do world teachings concur in predicting an end to the world as we know it. But further, the world leaders he speaks with consistently express surprise at how quickly this change is coming upon us.

The spiritual brothers agree that cultivating inner wholeness and resilience is the best possible way to prepare for future challenges.

Both are intentionally building an international community of like-minded souls, people committed to overcoming their personal pasts and the “old” paradigm of separation and competition. In so doing, one person at a time, their students are beginning to manifest at home and at work the “new” paradigm of unity and cooperation.

Now, that’s all well and good. It’s very important. As far as it goes.

But they’re leap-frogging over the chaos part.

Once we achieve that inner wholeness, see beyond the veil, as Dr. Joe puts it, how can each of know where we are in time, what to do NOW, and how to prepare for the “unknown” bearing down upon us?

Those who are called to serve operate on a finely tuned sense of timing, as if they have an inner radar attuned to the future. As earlier written:

Some people experience this inner knowing as a sense of personal destiny or keen sensitivity to the zeitgeist direction of the times.

Faith guides our feet, not only towards good fortune, but away from danger. For example. in the New Testament, Joseph, husband of Mary and protector of Jesus. accepted the mother and her child on faith.

And when King Herod, intent on killing new born males to thwart the prophecy of his downfall, Joseph “knew” it was time to escape from Jerusalem to save the infant’s life. He also knew when danger had passed, and it was time to return the boy to his homeland.

When you want to know what time it is now, and what to do, working with a wisdom tool like the Book of Change is an invaluable help. For, Among other things, the I Ching works like a cosmic clock, telling us the time.

mechanical clock

For ordinary mortals (like me), who aren’t always fully present and clear, the discipline of settling down the physical body and quieting the mind is a great help. Then, the practice of carefully defining the immediate situation leads to the formulation of coherent questions. In this higher, open and receptive state of mind, magic can happen. You bridge the gap between now and the future. It’s experienced as a synchronous connection between yourself and timeless wisdom – call it intuition or angelic guidance, as you will.

The Book of Change puts its users in touch with the patterned, pulsating, alternating rhythms of life. It connects them with inner knowing that anticipates approaching changes, the better to prepare for what is to come.

One reading repeatedly received underscores the importance of cultivating inner wholeness and resilience:

51 Shock
This advice is consistent with examples from scripture. In the Old Testament, Noah was called to build an arc. Joseph in Egypt explained the deeper meaning of Pharoah’s prophetic dreams. He warned that years of plenty should be used to store grain to survive through future years of famine.

In essence, that’s what today’s preppers are doing in advance of foreseen chaos coming down the pike at an alarming rate.

OA had a lot to say about this. Specifically, he advocated building intentional communities of like-minded souls as a bulwark against future chaos. Not just internet networks of like-minded souls, but physical, propertied, nitty gritty communities of committed, organized co-workers like the ones Pastor Joe Fox and James Wesley Rawles support.

For this isn’t the first time in repeating cycles of history we’ve arrived at this point. And in the past, under similar circumstances, survivors were those prepared to prevail during tough times.

For example, in The Age of Heretics, Charles Krone observed that in the dark ages, when chaos enveloped the civilized European world, monasteries appeared as islands of purposeful community — centers of learning, healing, hospitality and mutual protection. Similarly, monasteries of refuge from barbarism (think Shaolin) appeared in Asian lands during harsh historical times.

Now, then. Even more fundamentally, leaders equipped to oversee a safe transition though chaotic times will operate on a complete and correct paradigm. Understanding the multidimensional fabric of reality embodied in the Life Wheel, they will well understand how and why wisdom traditions including the Book of Change are instrumental to making future plans.

As it stands, current world leaders who operate from incomplete, extreme and dysfunctional paradigms continue to make decisions that endanger humanity. And as Einstein warned us, the stakes could not be higher. We’re at a crossroads of civilization. Human survival can no longer be taken for granted. We either change the way we think or go extinct.

Einstein home page

The way out of current madness must begin with restoring a complete and correct paradigm, one that is consistent with both the world’s great religions and with modern physics. That is, in effect, what Joe Dispenza, Gregg Braden, and in my own humble way, I have been deliberately working to do.

But the clock is ticking. Time is precious, and not to be wasted with petty conflicts and misunderstandings. Which side are you on? Which future do you choose?

And, if you agree, please share.

11th hour

Self-Awareness Tools for Empaths

Dr. Judith Orloff has taken the lead in bringing the needs of empaths to our attention. In The Empath’s Survival Guide, she explains the important difference between having empathy and being an empath.

Having empathy means our heart goes out to another person in joy or pain. . . but for empaths it goes much further. We actually feel others’ emotions, energy, and physical symptoms in our own bodies, without the usual defenses that most people have.

In case you’re wondering why you should care, let me add. You’re probably an empath too, even if a latent or undercover one. To the point, in his praise of The Empath’s Survival Guide, the venerable Dr. Joe Dispenza concludes: “Dr. Orloff does a brilliant job of helping us discover the empath in all of us.”

So, let’s get practical.

The Empath’s Survival Guide offers an array of tools to help sensitive people develop healthy coping mechanisms in a high-stress, high-stimulus world, while at the same time optimizing their unique gifts: intuition, compassion, creativity, and spiritual connection. (In the context of the multi-dimensional Life Wheel, this translates as honing the ability to honor and protect awareness of the middle and innermost levels, while simultaneously strengthening the protective, physical layer.)

Meditation is a strategy Dr. Orloff highly recommends. She calls it “Opening to a Higher Power.” (Dr. Joe’s meditations likewise serve this purpose.)

But there’s one powerful tool they do not mention. It’s related to meditation, but in a unique, extraordinary way — namely, the Chinese I Ching, especially in a version free of unnecessary hocus pocus, sexist assumptions and flowery talk, The Common Sense Book of Change.

The text has a long history. In the last century, psychologist Dr. Carl Jung picked up on it. In his introduction to the first genuinely useful English translation, Jung coined the term “synchronicity” to explain its power – precipitating seemingly magical and awesome non-local connections of understanding, insight, and awareness. This affect may be due to the similarity between the opening and closing lines of the 64 hexagrams and the geometric patterns seen by meditators in deep trance. (Dr. Joe is a fan of synchronisities. He tells students, as they grow in their meditative practice, to look for confirming synchronisities to appear in their lives.)

The Book of Change is a meditative tool especially suited to empaths’ needs. Its introspective method is safely accessed in the privacy of one’s own room. It gives those unable to bear the stress of travel much less mixing in crowds of thousands to participate in Dr. Joe’s popular events, another means of cultivating heightened awareness. Its benefits are cost-effective. And it is consistently available on a daily basis . . .  most especially in emergencies . . . for immediate use.

The Introduction to The Common Sense Book of Change makes its direct connection with Dr. Joe’s work strikingly apparent. In meditation CDs, he intones, “Become AWARE. Become Aware that you’re Aware.”

When, following Jung’s example, I asked, “What does the CSBOC have to offer its readers?” its answer was AWARENESS.

Hexagram 20

Personally, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to The Book of Change. In The I Ching and Me, I wrote:

For me, the Book of Change is a gateway to magic. On this side, it has been a close companion, good friend and advisor through the years. On the far side, perhaps remembered from lifetimes past, it speaks to me from a place beyond time and space.

With it, I was never alone, even and especially when I was loneliest in crowded rooms. When the world impelled suicide, it brought me back to a deeper, all-pervasive love of life.

Without it, it’s doubtful I would have survived the challenges and dangers of my “interesting” youth. Which is why, in the spirit of paying it forward, I have gone to considerable lengths to make this book in its essence available, most especially to sensitives.

Because, Yes. I was an empath too. I clearly remember an incident from early teen years. Mom came at me in a rage, fists flying. For many years, her exact words stuck – indelibly imprinted — in my mind. “Stop being so damn hyper-sensitive and act normal like everyone else.” (Our family physician gave her the term. She used it as a complaint, like a club.)

By now, the pain has been released, the memory transformed into wisdom. When I told OA about the incident, he simply remarked, “Good advice.” (Easier said than done, I thought.) What I’ve learned is that the functional word in her demand was ACT. Act as if normal. The challenge is to honor inner awareness while, at the same time acting within the bounds of social norms.)

The reason this was so hard for me to do this was that I picked up on and responded to the non-verbal messages people broadcast, which are often quite at odds with their verbal statements.

Denial

It confused me terribly. Not to mention that my unwelcome awareness frustrated and angered the verbal message senders. Whether they were unaware of the disconnect or were simply invested in saving face, exposure was perceived as a threat. Embarrassing. Enraging. (Along similar lines, in the context of energy vampires, Dr. Christine Northrup describes the effect of mixed messages as “cognitive dissonance.”)

Especially at times when I felt obliged to keep others’ dark secrets and had no one in the world to turn to, I depended on The Book of Change to validate what I “knew” and advise on the wisest way to act on this information, one situation at a time. For example, consistent with Dr. Orloff’s emphasis on the necessity of establishing clear boundaries, I often received this advice:

IC 60 Limits

At other times, when life became exceptionally chaotic and it seemed as if there was no way out of an impossible situation, I would read this and be comforted:

IC 52 Stillness

When I worked as an Administrative Assistant at the now-dissolved UW-Madison Eating Disorders Clinic, it broke my heart to observe how sadly the treatments and advice inflicted on suffering young women (often empaths at a loss to survive in abusive families) missed the mark. I dearly wished someone would offer the same self-counseling remedy that worked for me. They might, for example, have found this, as I did again recently:

IC 27 Growth

The Book of Change has been instrumental in maintaining my sanity and weaving safely through the uncertainties of an environment dominated by energy vampires – a concept well defined, in case you’re unfamiliar, by Dr. Christian Northrup in Dodging Energy Vampires: An Empath’s Guide to Evading Relationships That Drain You and Restoring Your Health and Power.

Ultimately, the decision may come to this:

IC 21 Breakthrough

Whether this Breakthrough occurs on inward spiritual and mental levels, or on the material plane of physical location, personal relationships and job situation, depends on immediate circumstance. Or, since the levels are interdependent, each influencing the others, the necessary change might eventually span the whole continuum.

book header bird

Since I’ve already given you plenty to absorb already, I’ll save a second, powerful tool for empaths – Personalizing the Life Wheel – for next time.

In the meantime, all best

The Ultimate Gatekeeper

Phoenix - sized

Lately I’ve been fully engaged in absorbing the remarkable work of Dr. Joe Dispenza, including his recent Becoming Supernatural. I have the yoga background to greatly appreciate just how skillfully he has translated and then integrated ancient science (defined as “with knowledge”) with cutting edge modern sciences, including Einstein’s quantum physics.

The Life Wheel I often refer to meshes perfectly with this work, as does its ancient ancestor, the Book of Change. Both of them compliment and have the potential to further enhance Dispenza’s work. For example, an early post, Sages and Scientists Can Agree on This, pictures the layers and levels of Dr. Joe’s message, in particular his instructions to “become aware of what you are doing and why.”

be aware

Dr. Joe systematically precipitates “miraculous” healings, teaching students how to “change” their lives by raising their energy — focusing awareness on the energy centers . . . blessing them, if you will. In Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, he reminds readers: Einstein said that no problem could be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

Here is an image of the chakras (energy centers) spanning the levels of the Life Wheel. It pictures the levels of awareness residing at the center of the Wheel where access to higher orders of consciousness generates positive new solutions.

Wheel2

Another point of convergence is the concept that meditation can “upgrade” DNA. The 64 changes of the Book of Change have been correlated with the 64 basic strands of DNA. Nor is it coincidence that Chinese ideogram for I Ching bears a marked resemblance to the double helix of DNA.

side by side

The Preface to The Ultimate Gatekeeper which follows opens still further avenues to links and possibilities.

book header bird

The Ultimate Gatekeeper:

Restoring the Book of Change to the World

PREFACE

In the millennial year, 2000, the title of this book was The Ultimate Personal Survival Guide. It came out of a brainstorming session with a business consultant. We were discussing how to market The Common Sense Book of Change. Suzanne was totally unfamiliar with the I Ching.

We went back and forth with questions and answers about its use and value. Finally, she sat back and blinked. “It sounds like the ultimate personal survival guide,” she concluded.

She’d hit the nail right on the head. She got it!

What I learned as she drew me out with her questions was that I had taken my answers to her valid concerns for granted. Surely many others had similar doubts.

So a further step was necessary. A follow-up book was required, one which would lead people to draw the same conclusion that she had. I had to dispel myths and misconceptions which prevent this gravely misunderstood and underrated treasure from getting the international acceptance it so richly deserves.

For this is a book that truly belongs to the world. It transcends, in its essence, the limitations of time and space. Used correctly, as intended, it leads the ordinary mind towards experiences of self-awareness and transformative transcendence.

Over the years, I had grown absolutely certain that the worldwide leadership deficit (and related budget deficits) are explained by an underlying knowledge deficit. For lack of what The Book of Change has to offer, people everywhere remain perplexed as to how and why so much continues to go so horribly wrong, despite the best of intentions.

It seemed urgent to clear the decks. Making this compendium of Natural Law — the premier leadership training and decision-making manual in China for thousands of years — widely accessible now is necessary in order to fill in this fatal knowledge gap.

Mainstreaming this vitally important information is the first, necessary step towards the positive change which many call for, but remain unable to achieve.

Fourteen years later, after completing a trilogy on change, I found myself in the same predicament. How does one shake up the sleeping public? What will it take to make people worldwide aware of how important this information is, and how gravely we’re at risk due to its absence?

The extraordinary value of the I Ching is that it reveals the secrets of dynamic Natural Law. Working with its changes opens up access to the middle level of the Life Wheel, the “e = energy” layer of Einstein’s Unified Field Theory.

Gatekeeper

This middle level of Natural Law serves as mediating, two-directional gatekeeper between the ever-changing surface rim and the universal, timeless center. You can’t get from here to there and back again, except through the middle “energy” layer which, in Western thinking, is effectively taboo, buried deep within the inaccessible “unconscious.”

To the extent that the Natural Law of energy dynamics remains a blind spot in the prevailing, linear and exclusively empirical paradigm, we are left powerless to move beyond the surface level of experience.

To compound the loss, when stuck on the surface, the realm of light and conscience which rests beyond, on the far side of the dynamic energy level, remains functionally inaccessible.

Only by becoming intelligently competent in managing the subtle energies of the middle level does it become possible to travel further inwards for the direct personal experience of not only Light but even deeper still, its very Source.

Unfortunately, the middle level is too often clogged with painful memories, negative emotions and repressed, socially taboo urges. It becomes a barrier to deeper knowing.

For eight thousand years and counting, the Book of Change has served as an indispensable tool for resolving this dilemma. Used as intended, it can restore the unnecessarily “unconscious” to conscious awareness, reopening the levels of human potential so they can be aligned and unified.

In this context, genuine survivors fit to prevail in today’s increasingly dangerous times aren’t those with the most material wealth, possessions or political power. They’re the ones who’ve successfully navigated the middle realm, reached the far shore of enlightenment and returned to the surface with their new information intact.

Those who succeed in linking the levels of experience are genius-leaders in whatever fields they choose to engage. They’re the fortunate ones who have acquired the inner wealth necessary to both hear the still voice conscience and act effectively on the guidance they receive.

Patricia E. West, Ph.D. 

Wisconsin, U.S.A. 2019

 

Half-Brained is Half-Assed: Put the Yin Back into Your Yang Decisions

In the year 2000, I wrote a dozen Essay Sketches on Positive Action. I’m just now getting back to them. They emphasize the urgent necessity of restoring right-brain balance to left-brain decision-making. Put the other way around, they identify what has gone terribly wrong in the world for lack of this balance.

The first sketch identifies the origins of linear-thinking stereotypes:

ONLY THE TRUTH, PLEASE!

Leading imagination to the single source, the poetry of scriptures describes subtle experience in familiar terms.

Great harm comes from taking metaphors literally. Timeless truths are misconstrued to rationalize bigotry. Nature’s complimentary polarities, masculine and feminine, light and dark have wrongfully been limited to physical characteristics and then attached to moral judgments: “good” and “bad.”

Males are deemed categorically good; females are exclusively bad. Light-skinned people are supposedly good; dark-skinned ones aren’t.

Nothing could be further from scriptural intent. Complements play equally vital parts in the music of life as interdependent aspects of a perfect whole. We are all wired with the same AC/DC (yin and yang) energy circuitry.

What is evil is separations within or without. Liberate scriptures from literal-minded abusers.

The second sketch builds on the first:

HALF-BRAINED IS HALF-ASSED

Indiana Jones blends the best of right and left brain worlds. He and Nazi opponents search out the arc of the covenant, then the grail. The enemy wants the key to world domination; Indy and his beloved father seek “illumination.” They not only study ancient civilizations, but adventure to recover hidden treasures. To become a Jedi knight, Luke SkyWalker trains to attune himself to “the force.”

Intellectuals who contempt practical people and workers who despise the educated are equally half-brained incompetents. Divided we fall prey to the dark side. For positive results, well-educated scholars and street-smart front-liners fighting the war that counts in inner city trenches and rural outposts must join ranks. Patton, the general who stopped Hitler, quoted scriptures like a bishop, knew Shakespeare’s verse by heart.

These sketches explains why, in today’s hectic world. working with the Book of Change has extraordinary value. It is the time-tested method for restoring the balance of calm, quiet, introspective right-brain “knowing” to aggressive, materialistic left-brain analysis.

How have we come to rule out this integral part of existence, the hidden half which completes our whole-brain potentials?

Einstein called it the “fateful fear of metaphysics.” Physics – what is physical and observable — is real. In addition, however, the intangible which rests beyond or within us is equally real. As Einstein was well aware, that which is deeper than physics – meta-physics – complements and completes the tangible.

In early works, I pictured the integral levels of experience in this way:

Flux & Stability

Without this right-brain balance in our decision-making, we are but half of what we could and should be. Often, we function in ignorance of and against the grain of our own best interests.

Here is the picture of a divided world view where the language of poetry, taken literally, results in divisive stereotypes.

II-10 rev

As such, those of us who live in a world designed and dictated by the rules of empirical science are at a terrible loss. We have been programmed (“educated”) rule out every part of experience, however, real, which cannot be seen and touched, measured and quantified.

According to Swiss analyst Carl Jung, this either/or world view places intangibles outside of our conscious reach. Nevertheless, buried, overlooked and forgotten, they still continue to influence us, but from the “unconscious” parts of our mind.

Jung had much to say about this loss:

Our time has committed a fatal error; we believe we can criticize the facts of religion intellectually. . . The gods have become diseases; Zeus no longer rules Olympus but rather the solar plexus, and produces curious specimens for the doctor’s consulting room, or disorders the brains of politicians and journalists who unwittingly let loose psychic epidemics on the world.

Jung understood that restoring health and common sense to our world could be gained by methods which make the unconscious conscious. The Book of Change is a premier method for accomplished this goal. It’s no accident that Jung was instrumental in restoring the first genuinely usable English translation to the West. He actually wrote the introduction to the Wilhelm/Baynes version of the I Ching.

The Common Sense Book of Change continues in this tradition, for the same purpose. It simplifies the scholarly approach, making this treasure accessible to anyone with basic English language reading skills and an open heart, free of irrelevant and unnecessary sexist, elitist language.

So, this is critically important. It’s time to make yourself whole. If you haven’t already, put the yin balance back into your yang decisions.

Tai Chi Tu

 

Fate or Free-Will?

Our life is such a curious mix of givens and decisions.

St. Francis of Assisi captured the eternal give-and-take dance between what we can and cannot change:

Now. Let’s take these three God-given variables – SERENITY (peace, calm composure), COURAGE and WISDOM – and put them in I Ching perspective.

For it has been my experience that using The Book of Change as a wisdom-fulcrum tips the balance in favor of what can be changed.

I’ll give you a dynamic example from recent experience.

In an unsettled state of mind, I queried the book asking, as I often do, “What should I be aware of NOW?” The result was Hexagram 47 with a changing line in the 4th place.

The description was right on, matching my mood exactly. It was a chicken-and-egg-like situation. Which came first, the economic or mental stress, I do not know.

But reassurance that “the time will pass” was what I needed right then. It gave distance to seemingly endless difficulties. The advice, “use hardship to develop inner strength” reinforced St.  Francis’ SERENITY option.

The critically important insight, however, was embedded in the dynamic changing line:

Line 4: Placing trust in unreliable people puts your goals in danger.

Aha! I was letting difficult people and their on-going circus dramas distract me from my goals. I let them push and pull me down, forgetting my True Self. A host of spiraling problems all stemmed from that single basic mistake. Correcting that fault had the potential to turn many things on many levels back in a positive direction.

The first step was to take this important hint to heart and have the courage to act on it. The key point of interception was to refocus on my values, on whom I love and whom I serve. Put first things first.

Coincidentally,” identifying the root cause of “danger” indicated in Line 4 resulted in Hexagram 29, DANGER, which offers further advice on the right way to proceed.

I was especially impressed by the resonance between the two readings. Both highlight the importance of holding fast to goals and avoiding negative thoughts/emotions.

 The I Ching WISDOM-fulcrum changed emphasis from SERENITY to the COURAGE option of the St. Francis prayer, tipping the balance away from passive acceptance of what cannot be changed towards that which can.

So it is that magical transformations on many levels begin with changing negatives to positives. Again, almost sage-like, espousing the way of spiritual alchemy, St. Frances gave us a key to positive change:

Please. Do take a minute or so of your precious time to think about this. Let it resonate with you. Ask, Where is your focus? Are you able to tip the balances in your life, giving weight to the positive side of the seesaw?

Maybe, just maybe, if you’re not already friends with the I Ching, it would be well worth your while to try something new. Working with The Common Sense Book of Change might just give you a new way to leverage the balance between fate and free-will in a positive direction.

Magic Is in the Eye of the Beholder

eye of the beholder

What we know as science today would have been considered magical in the days before the operations of electricity were discovered and harnessed. Automobiles, airplanes, and computers we take for granted today would have seemed phenomenal in days passed.

Much of science fiction depends on tricks of changing technologies over time. For example, I remember the story of a hero who saved the day by astonishing the natives with a solar eclipse. When the critical moment arrived, with a flamboyant gesture and incantation – “hocus pocus” – he vanquished enemies by the apparent power to make the sun go dark.

Now, it seems, we have magic in reverse. We have so much come to depend on technology, that the inner workings of our potentially powerful psyches and our connection with the forces of nature seem like “magic.”

We are haunted by distant memories of who we once were and could be againthat deeper, truer intangible part of ourselves. Modern “education” rules out our latent, subtle powers and potentials, as if whatever cannot be measured and quantified cannot and should not be.

Yet we are enchanted by fantasy and science fiction which tease and lead us to remember.

hist of magic

The science (meaning “with knowledge”) which explains the magic of synchronicity demystifies this method for reconnecting with our larger mind and its place in the universe.

When people use a term like magic, they give little thought to the full range of possible meanings it might have. It might be a good idea to rethink what we see as magic – all the uses and abuses which have accrued over time.

To that end, I offer the following Essay on Magic.

image - harry potter

ESSAY 37. MAGIC

Magic is the art of manipulating the unseen forces of nature. A white magician is one who is laboring to gain the confidence of the powers that be. A black magician is one who seeks to gain authority over spiritual powers by means of force rather than by merit. The white magician’s motto is: “right is might.” The black magician’s motto is “might is right.” — M.P. Hall, Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics

One must distinguish between ordinary magic and consciousness of the harmonic relationships of nature — the philosophy of magic — which is the right gesture at the right place at the right time. Its applications, often excessive, and falsified by popular greed and ignorance, have given birth to superstitious magic and crude sorcery. — Isha Schwaller de Lubicz, Her-Bak: Egyptian Initiate

Taoists say, “Know magic, shun magic.” They mean that through the cultivation of knowledge, you can know precisely how natural calamity and human enmity can be avoided. You can know all the ways in which you might be affected and be able to meet crisis on the challenger’s own terms. The Taoists do not mean that you should learn the ways of others in order to be like them, only that you should learn the ways of others to avoid being manipulated by them. — Deng Ming-Dao, Scholar Warrior: An Introduction to the Tao in Everyday Life

THE FRONT

Webster’s defines magic is the use of charms, spells and rituals in seeking or pretending to cause or control events, or govern certain natural or supernatural forces. It can refer to anything mysterious and seeming inexplicable, or to an extraordinary power or quality (the magic of love). It refers to producing baffling effects or illusions by sleight of hand or use of concealed apparatus. Used as a verb, it means to cause change, or to make disappear.

Of all dictionary definitions, magic is the most incomplete. Little is known of its pristine meaning. The word occult explains why the public knows so little about true magic. This knowledge is intentionally withheld from the unprepared.

Occult” is defined as hidden, secret, beyond human understanding and therefore mysterious. (Webster’s shows empiricist bias, saying occult designates alleged mystic arts, such as magic, alchemy or astrology.)

In fact, as Hall’s Treatise details, magic is a systematic discipline based on natural law. Practitioners are competent to direct natural energies at will. However, few have the courage and compassion to make the personal sacrifices required to pursue this path of knowledge.

Even fewer attain the wisdom to use such power wisely. Prudent masters therefore keep their traditions as carefully guarded secrets, safely away from unqualified seekers who, as Hitler wanna-be’s, would abuse what they could.

For the general public, it suffices to know that such powers do exist, so that when they are used, the possibility of what’s going on is recognized. An appropriate question to consider is, “What color is the magic?” According to Hall, there’s not only positive white and negative black, but yellow and gray as well. It depends on how intentional and extreme the capacity for either good or evil.

Patanjali’s yoga sutras outline the preliminary stages of magician training. The I Ching, the text of natural change, is the necessary complement of all such self-awareness disciplines. Exercising conscious awareness of and control over one’s own internal energies is the necessary first step in white magic schools.

With time, mastery over nature comes of its own accord as a by-product of self-knowledge. Because one’s potentials mirror and resonate with those of the entire universe, as one becomes competent to change one’s own internal states at will, one spontaneously begins to have influence over nature and with others.

By his own admission, Aleister Crowley is a black magician. His teachings bear distorted resemblance to occult knowledge. However, his credo, “Do what thou wilt” is the antithesis of the white magician’s prayer, “Thy will be done.”

Witchcraft is incomplete. Practitioners take natural law out of context, seeking occult powers rather than self-mastery, sometimes without social conscience, sometimes in defiance of Divine Law. Seductive claims aside, being incomplete, no witch practices white magic.

Rarely do white magicians announce their presence. They don’t have to. They quietly think, and, as Lao Tze put it, all is accomplished. Christ was an exception to the rule. He was competent to change water to wine. He also performed the ultimate miracle, resurrecting the dead. Such acts, however, were not self-serving. They were done to serve the Father, to teach and quicken faith.

THE BACK

Miracles are events without natural cause. They are different from magic, which operates within the bounds of natural change. Miracle is defined as an event or action that apparently contradicts known scientific, natural laws, and is therefore attributed to supernatural causes, like an act of God.

Special movie effects, card players’ sleights of hand and illusionists’ feats are accomplished by cleverness, manual dexterity, or computer technology. Though they’re irrelevant to bona fide magical powers, they tease the imagination and stir forgotten knowledge of latent potentials and what is truly possible.

The I Ching Works Like a Cosmic Clock

Among other things, the I Ching works like a cosmic clock, telling us the time.

In the Old Testament, King Solomon expressed the natural, rhythmic alternations of time in poetic form:

To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time build up . . . a time to love and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

The Book of Change puts its users in touch with these pulsating, alternating rhythms of life. It connects us with inner knowing – call it intuition or conscience – that anticipates approaching changes, the better to prepare for what is to come.

It serves as a reminder that our lives change like the seasons of nature. Fall follows summer. Spring follows winter.

It lends perspective to the current times and what is likely to come next.

In I Ching context, faith is akin to trusting a highly refined sense of timing. It is an atunement with the same inner clock which guides migrating birds and informs heroic displays of virtue.

Some people experience this inner knowing as a sense of personal destiny or keen sensitivity to the zeitgeist direction of the times.

Faith guides our feet, not only towards good fortune, but away from danger. An example from the New Testament is Joseph, husband of Mary, protector of Jesus. He accepted Mary and her child on faith.

When a fearful King Herod was intent on killing new born males to thwart the prophecy of his downfall, Joseph “knew” it was time to escape from Jerusalem, thus saving the infant’s life. He also knew when danger had passed, and it was time to return the boy to his homeland.

Using the interactive Common Sense Book of Change (CSBOC) is a powerful way to get in touch with the native common sense we are all born with, but too often forget under the pressures of hectic daily life.

The text maps the natural patterns of change which trigger predictable passages from one stage to another in our lives.

Those who live close to nature are instinctively closer to their own natural rhythms, something city dwellers too often lose touch with. For those who long to remember who they truly are, but have forgotten, working the I Ching is especially rare and precious blessing.

 

Use the CSBOC To Increase Self-Awareness

Did you know that Swiss analyst, Carl Jung, who gave us the concept of archetypes and influenced appreciation of dream analysis, also had great respect for the Chinese I Ching? He used it as as a tool for making the unconscious conscious.

In fact, Jung was instrumental in bringing the first usable English translation to the West. He wrote the introduction to the Wilhelm/Baynes version by giving an example of using it. He queried asking for a comment on the translation. The answer received was, in effect, that a vessel of great value which had fallen into disrepair was being restored.

My small yellow book follows Jung’s example. In the Introduction, I ask, “What does the Common Sense Book of Change (CSBOC)  have to offer its readers?”

Its answer: “Awareness.” A changing line yields the likely future outcome of following through. “Gain.” (I’ll show you how this works below.)

But even before starting, the book emphasizes the importance of practicing a thoughtful process of question- asking:

The quality of results depends on the state of mind in which information is received. It is therefore essential to learn how to approach the Book of Change in the best possible frame of mind.

So quiet yourself. Get past the clutter of chaotic thoughts to focus on forming a worthy question.

. . . There are many techniques for calming the mind and focusing attention. One of these is usually practiced before asking the question.

Bottom line: consulting the Book of Change is not only compatible with yogic and mindfulness practices of introspection, contemplation and meditation. They work synergistically. Settling the mind to ask the right question induces a meditative state. The ability to induce a meditative state enhances the quality of questions asked and value of answers received.

To give you the flavor of working with The Common Sense Book of Change, I’m sharing the example given in the book.

If you initially feel uneasy with this approach to increasing self-awareness, you might find the answers to commonly asked questions reassuring.

If this is new to you, try approaching it with the attitude for approaching the unfamiliar recommended by Samuel Coleridge, a “willing suspension of disbelief.” Or, as I do, at the start, prayerfully invoke protection and guidance according to your beliefs.

 

 

SAMPLE READING

First I collect my materials. I need three pennies, a pad of paper or notebook, a pen or pencil and the Book of Change.

Then I find a quiet place to sit. I take a few minutes to settle down. I clear my mind of other thoughts and silently watch the breath until it becomes slow and even.

Then I think carefully about what is going on, what is troubling me, and the issues I need to know more about. I list the decisions I have to make and consider what consequences are likely to follow from my future actions.

For the example in this book, I have decided to ask, “What does The Common Sense Book of Change have to offer its readers?”

I enter the date and my question in the Diary Section at the back of the book.

Concentrating on my question, I take my three pennies, shake them a few times in my gently closed fist and roll them onto the flat surface in front of me.

The first throw of my three coins comes up three heads. The value of heads is two, so I multiply three times two to get six.

Since this is an even number, I draw a broken line on my pad of paper. It will be the bottom line. Because all three coins were the same, I place an “X” next to this line to show that it is a changing line.

My bottom line looks like this:

Place Throws Values Sum Line

Bottom H H H 2 2 2 6 ___ ___X

Then I take the three coins and throw them again. This time I get two tails and one head. The value of tails is one, so I add one and one to get two. I add this to the two for the heads coin to get four.

Since four is an even number, I place a broken line in the second place over the bottom line. My pad of paper now looks like this:

Place Throws Values Sum Line

Line 2    T T H 1 1 2 4 ___ ___

Bottom H H H 2 2 2 6 ___ ___ X

̀I follow the same procedure four more times. My final hexagram looks like this:

Place Throws Values Sum Line

Top       T H H 1 2 2 5 _______

Line 5   T H H 1 2 2 5 _______

Line 4    T T H 1 1 2 4 ___ ___

Line 3     T T H 1 1 2 4 ___ ___

Line 2     T T H 1 1 2 4 ___ ___

Bottom  H H H 2 2 2 6 ___ ___ X

The next step is to find the number of my reading. I turn to the chart at the back of the book. The bottom three lines of my hexagram are all broken.

I turn to the chart at the back. In the “lower trigram” column of the chart, the picture which matches this figure is “k’un.”

The top three lines of my hexagram are two solid lines over a broken line. In the “upper trigram” row of the chart, the picture which matches this figure is “sun.”

By going to the box which shows the combination of upper and lower trigrams, I find the number 20. I therefore turn to Hexagram 20 for answers to my question.

Hexagram 20 is AWARENESS. So the answer to my question, “What does the Common Sense Book of Change have to offer its readers?” is AWARENESS. It reads:

Seek increased AWARENESS of the patterns which underlie all natural events. Tune yourself to the creative source of natural change. Then harmony becomes a way of life. Secrets of the arts and sciences will be revealed. Human relationships will become smooth. Mistakes of mis-calculation will be prevented. Avoid unnatural leaders.

Because the bottom line is a changing line, I go to the page directly opposite the hexagram, titled “Direction of Change.” I read the sentences for the bottom line. They advise:

Narrow-minded self-interest is not enlightened. Broaden your views. Include others. (42)

The number in parens after the warning represents the hexagram which results when the bottom line changes to its opposite, a firm line.

The new hexagram, GAIN, indicates the change that would result from the AWARENESS this book has to offer its readers. Turning to Hexagram 42, I read:

GAINS can be made after analyzing the situation correctly. When a person’s life goals are kept firmly in mind, no time is wasted. A way can be found to use whatever resources are at hand to serve one’s purpose. Serving others can be compatible with personal gain. Avoid smug self-satisfaction.

I then turn to the back of the book. In the Diary Section, I write the numbers of the hexagram and any changing lines next to my question. Then I decide what future actions I to take.

Finally, I enter a few sentences to describe my thoughts and decisions into the Diary Section. That way, I know I can return to my question, the reading and my decisions later to think more about them.

I hope this helps. Any questions? Comments? Your feedback is welcome.

How the CSBOC Came To Be

For those who wondered, I’ve already answered eight of your most often asked questions, including“What makes the Book of Change so unique and important? Why is it especially relevant worldwide?”

wondering face

Here, I’m answering another question: “Why is this particular version, the Common Sense Book of Change (CSBOC), an excellent choice for me to work with right now?”

As strange as it appears at first glance, there are actually several good reasons. So let me tell you more.

Discourse sized

First, I should let you know that today, publishing is a just hobby for me. The world will go its own way. I no longer think can any book change the world.

But it certainly changed me. It’s no exaggeration to say the I Ching saved my life. More than once.

So, for me, if the Common Sense Book of Change helps even one of you, that is enough. I would be satisfied. As it has been written, “To save one life is to save the world entire.”

I also recognized that the I Ching is not the only book with life-saving potential. The most powerful is the Bible. In my case, however, early in life, poor examples confused and repelled me. I do believe that in their infinite mercy, good angels guide and protect truth seekers through any medium available. Angels are not limited by the restrictions of human religion. : )

So long before I was ready for the New Testament, the I Ching was there to get me through some rough transitions.

Angel Calling

Now, then. How did I come to create this little book? I am American, not Chinese. Nor am I a scholar with advanced degrees in Chinese language and literature. I’ve described my personal journey in several places. For example, in The I Ching & Me, I wrote:

For me, the Book of Change is a gateway to magic. On this side, it has been a close companion, good friend and advisor through the years. On the far side, perhaps remembered from lifetimes past, it speaks to me from a place beyond time and space.

With it, I was never alone, even and especially when I was loneliest in crowded rooms. When the world impelled suicide, it brought me back to a deeper, all-pervasive love of life.

So I will share a few sections from Rethinking Survival about how I met the book, and how it has grown on me.

ICgraph

I wrote about the origins of CSBOC in Rethinking Survival:

. . . I’d had a hunch about [the I Ching] for a very long time. Ellsworth Carlson, who lived in Shansi, China during WWII, was a classmate of my parents at Oberlin College. When I was nursery school age, he bounced me on his knees at Harvard.

As Freshman student, I took Dr. Carlson’s course in Asian History at Oberlin. What stuck with me how vast an influence the I Ching had on China for 8,000 years and counting.

So, when I left the U.S., all I took with me was my violin and one small suitcase. Of that, half contained clothes. The other half held sheet music and one small book: the Legge translation of the I Ching.

It made no sense to me. I could barely get through a page or two before giving up. But I kept coming back to it. It led to something important I had to know more about.

When I happened upon the Wilhelm/Baynes edition in Düsseldorf’s International Bookshop on Konigs Allee — Finally! — I had a version I could relate to. It literally became my teacher. It gave me a whole new concept of how the world really works.

Not just this family or that institution or the other county. Not arbitrary and capricious, fluctuating fashions, but the constant anchor over time.

From it, I could deduce the fundamental energy dynamics of action and reaction which drive behavior, internally at a psychological level, and externally in relationships and day-to-day events.

It was an extension of the logic my English teacher Miss Elson impressed on my high school brain. But more. It gave me a map of logical consequences, as inevitable as computer language. “If this, then that.”

For example, If you kick people, they kick back (if they can) or otherwise resist. If you are kind, you inspire love and trust in others. If you violate natural law, nature bites back — your mental health suffers; relationships deteriorate; your behavior becomes erratic and social/physical survival is imperiled.

Asian cultures call this “the law of karma.” Its operation is also described in biblical terms: “As ye reap, so shall ye sow,” and “to everything there is a season.”

In sum, its 64 permutations map a progression of repetitive, cyclical change.

Tai Chi Tu

I’ve also explained why I felt compelled to write a simpler, accessible version, free of unnecessary jargon, sexism and cultural baggage:

There was, as in all things, a downside to the Wilhelm/Baynes version. It was unnecessarily difficult, sexist and elitist. A confusing overlay of cultural baggage obscured its meaning. After working for ten years with every version I could find, I wrote an easy-to-use version called The Common Sense Book of Change, intending to make this treasure available to anyone with an open open heart and basic reading skills.

I fantasized on the possibility of teasing the Chinese people into reclaiming their heritage, self-publishing it as small yellow book (the traditional Chinese color of wisdom) in a pocket-sized form to replace Mao’s little blood-red book. No matter how many new versions have come out since then, it still works for me.

seated crosslegged
Here is the story of how the CSBOC came to be:

More “neatsies” surround my small version of the I Ching, the Chinese Book of Change. I wrote it in 1975 during the window of time after I moved back from Spring Green to Madison, but before I had a job. As a leap of faith, I concentrated on the writing, putting off a job search until the book was done. This was a bit scary. Money was going to run out very soon.

I sat cross-legged on the bare wood floor of a living room furnished with cardboard boxes. I spread every version I owned in a half-circle around me. They included the Wilhelm/Baynes translation brought back from Germany, of course. There was a battered second-hand paperback by Joseph Murphy, a research fellow in Andrha, India, as I recall, who quoted the Old Testament in the judgments. Others included the spiral-bound Workbook by R. L. Wing, a hardbound version which presented the I Ching as a form of astrology and a hippie-like paperback.

I trusted that the Platonic-like ideas of the I Ching are timeless, the common heritage of all humanity. They’re not the exclusive property of a particular culture or class. Each of these authors was drawing on the same source for inspiration, expressing universal experience from different viewpoints. So I opened my mind, asking for the deeper meaning these versions shared in common.

I was certain that the most powerful ideas are the most simple. They deserve to be expressed in the clearest language with fewest words possible, free of flowery poetry, scholarly hocus pocus, sexist assumptions (the so-called “superior man”) or other distortions. I intended to make my version easy to read – accessible to anyone with basic reading skills and an open heart.

The format just “came” to me. It worked fine. Fifty words, no more or less, for each hexagram. Ten words, no more, no less for each changing line. The images came easily. I worked systematically from start to finish, no looking back. With the exception of “Sacrifice,” which I revisited fifteen years later, I’ve made no revisions.

Eventually, I called this version The Common Sense Book of Change. I like the word “common.” To me, it doesn’t signify “ordinary” or even “vulgar,” as some use the term, but rather “universal.” “Common” is the root of both “communication” and “community.” And the allusion to Tom Paine’s Common Sense isn’t accidental.

But there’s more to this story:

Upon its completion, the kaleidoscope turned instantly.

Results of the civil service test for Typist III positions came in the mail, along with a list of job openings.

My first interview was at the UW-Madison Department of French and Italian. The Chairman not only gave me the job on the spot. He decided from my resume that I had administrative potential and made me an offer. The Department’s Administrative Secretary III had given notice. She was moving out of town soon. There was no replacement. If I was willing to do her job for Typist III pay, and if I took the pending Ad Sec civil service exam, and if I got one of the five highest scores to qualify for an interview, I could have the job. . . .

I agreed, did administrative work for typist pay, took the exam, qualified for an interview, and within a few months took a leap up the career ladder that secretaries usually took years to accomplish. I was suddenly earning more than ever before. . .

I concluded:

The reward for this leap of faith was immediate. I took it as confirmation from the powers that be that I’d made the right choice to put the book first.

listen with the heart

 

How Much Do You Know about the Book of Change (& Why Should You Care)?

Tai Chi Tu - sized

Listed below are eight common myths and misconceptions shrouding the perennial, venerable Chinese I Ching. Answers to these commonly asked questions give good reasons why you would benefit greatly from working with it.

circled Q

ONE

Q. What does an ancient book from a foreign land have to do with me, here and now?

A. Everything. The I Ching as a compendium of Natural Law is neither time nor place-bound. It speaks to the questions we all ask about the human condition. For over 8,000 years, with good reason, it has endured as the foundation of Chinese healing, governing and military arts alike. No equivalent exists in the West. Most importantly, it fills a fatal gap in the way Westerners have been taught to think.

TWO

Q. If it is so important, why isn’t it taught to young people in schools?

A. Good question! Probably because the assumptions described below are taught as if fact.

THREE

Q. Isn’t the Book of Change unscientific – just hocus pocus? Primitive or New Age superstition?

A. Like any other wisdom tradition which has endured over time, the I Ching has inevitably been subject to misuse. This doesn’t, however, reflect on its inherent value. In fact, this compendium of Natural Law is so highly sophisticated that Western science is just beginning to catch up with it.

For example, in the 1800s, Leibniz acknowledged that its mathematical foundations long preceded his calculus. The single and broken lines of the hexagrams are analogous to binary-digital computer code. Further, its 64 hexagrams have been directly correlated with DNA structure.

FOUR

Q. Question: Is the I Ching a sacred book, like the Bible? Is it part of a religion?

A . Answer: Yes and no. Taoists, Buddhists, and Confucians, despite their differences, hold the I Ching in highest regard. It is used to connect with inner knowing, on the one hand, and consulted for practical advice regarding every aspect of daily life, on the other. To them, the sacred and secular are inseparably intertwined, interwoven as the warp and woof of the fabric of life.

This book maps the dynamics of the Law of Karma – the foundation of practical ethics. Much has been written elsewhere on this subject.

FIVE

Q. Isn’t The Book of Change pagan and therefore off-limits to Christians? Doesn’t it contradict or oppose the teachings of the Bible?

A. There is no conflict. Natural and Divine Law are two different subjects. The Book of Change is a compendium of Natural Law. The two are compliments. As such, Chinese sages respected nature as a manifestation of the Tao, or God. As described elsewhere, both the Old and New Testaments show an understanding of the nature compatible with the I Ching worldview. This is quite different from pagans who by-pass Divine Law, worshiping nature instead.

In fact, many people with the best of intentions find their lives going terribly wrong for lack of the understanding (call it emotional intelligence) cultivated by working with Natural Law. Ongoing sexual and financial scandals which plague hierarchies secular and religious are directly linked to this ignorant lack of awareness: a fatal blind-spot in our education.

SIX

Q, Is the I Ching used to predict the future, like a crystal ball? Is it meant for divination, meaning to get what one wants or locate missing objects?

A. Advanced sages who understood numerology used it to produce astonishing results. But the I Ching is most often used as a method for making better decisions, in part because it serves to make the unconscious conscious. Truer to original meditative intent, people often use it to practice mindfulness. Working with The Book of Change helps quiet the mind, increase self-understanding, and then better understanding of others.

SEVEN

Q. Can the I Ching be fully understood or appreciated without knowledge of the Chinese language?

A. Hindu’s are attached to the exclusive value of the Sanskrit language, Jews to ancient Hebrew, and Muslims to the original language of the Koran. However, the source of truth is beyond language. Its cultural expression at a particular time and place varies, but the basic essentials are necessarily the same.

EIGHT

Q. Isn’t it better to learn about natural law from the European philosophers Locke, Hobbes, and Rousseau, as America’s founding fathers did?

A. No. Their philosophy is intellectual speculation. Although they use the same words, that is where the similarity ends. The I Ching is based upon thousands of years of experience by leaders trained in the meditative arts to observe their inner states. They recognized exact correlations between inner and outer experience. Through careful observation, they detailed the operations of nature and the dynamics which drive human relationships.

Your Choice

Yoda make good choices

Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual by Jocko Willink is exactly the right medicine for me right now. It might be for you too.

Here’s the amazon.com summary of his credentials:

Jocko Willink’s methods for success were born in the SEAL Teams, where he spent most of his adult life, enlisting after high school and rising through the ranks to become the commander of the most highly decorated special operations unit of the war in Iraq. In Discipline Equals Freedom, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Extreme Ownership describes how he lives that mantra: the mental and physical disciplines he imposes on himself in order to achieve freedom in all aspects of life.

JW’s perspective is radically different from that espoused in Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules For Life. As described in If You Love Your Children. . . and . . . Tell Them How the world Works:

Essentially, [12 Rules] advises people to “man up.” All of us have the potential to be much better than we are. Before criticizing the world, our first responsibility is to improve ourselves with discipline, carving out meaning in our lives as a bulwark against the chaos of life’s inevitable hardships.

But the two approaches are, each in its own way, complimentary.

Now – JW’s background is far different from mine.

I’m a woman brought up as a musician. As a college/university-educated scholar majoring in world history-philosophy-literature, much of my later years have been dedicated to unlearning and relearning.

As a violinist and yoga practitioner, my practice disciplines focused on harmony, balance and unity.

In school administration, I looked to the ultimate decision-making manual: the ancient Chinese I Ching — The Book of Change.

JW speaks of fighting. And aggression. I approach self-improvement in terms of transcendence. Our goals and results, however, are much the same. So my approach to discipline is also, in its own way, complimentary.

I find JW’s approach to discipline almost devotional. Similar to Chinese Taoists – including the Shaolin monks who based kung fu martial arts on the I Ching — he refers to The Way of Discipline. He writes:

Discipline: The root of all good qualities. The driver of daily execution. The core principle that overcomes laziness and lethargy and excuses. Discipline defeats the infinite excuses that say: Not today, not now, I need a rest, I will do it tomorrow. . . . .

There is only one way.

THE WAY OF DISCIPLINE.

What inspired me to write this post was his chapter on NATURE VS NURTURE. He asks, What is more important? And he answers, Neither.

In the military, I worked with every type of person:

Ivy League kids with silver spoons, kids from blue-collar families, kids from strong families, and kids with no families, kids who were pampered and kids who were abused. And everything in between. Everything.

And with all those different types of people, there were good and bad. Successful and unsuccessful. And in working with businesses, I see the same thing: People from every walk of life. From the bottom to the top – and I have seen every type of person be successful.

His conclusion:

It is not about nature or nurture.

It is about choice.

He continues:

The people who are successful decide they are going to be successful. They make that choice. And they make other choices. They decide to study hard. They decide to work hard. They decide to be the first person to get to work and the last to go home. They decide they are going to take on the hard jobs. Take on the challenges. They decide they are going to lead when no one else will.

They choose who they are going to hang around and they choose who they will emulate.

Ultimately:

They choose to become who they want to become they aren’t inhibited by nature or nurture. They overcome both.

I totally agree. Choices and consequences hang together. And as pointed out elsewhere in describing the natural Law of Karma, failure to choose is also a choice — one with heavy consequences.

 

book header bird

There are two directions I could take from here. One is to share with you the post called What’s More Important – Nature, Nurture, OR . . ..

This subject is especially relevant in the context of answering ideologues who use the seeming unfairness of life and suffering as excuses for rebellion and destruction of social order . . . rather than discipline.

The other direction I could take is to share is the Essay on Discipline which give a balancing, complimentary perspective to JW’s military approach.

Here’s my choice. First I’ll offer a few snippets from the blog here. You’re welcome to click on the link if you’d like to see more.

Then I’ll post the Essay on Discipline below.

So. First. From What’s Most Important:

I’ll give one example here using the Positive Paradigm Wheel of Change. This picture talks to the right brain to balance the left-brain discussion which follows.

It places the relationship of nature, nurture and “much more” in prioritized context.

PPoC gold

The surface level that corresponds with MASS includes everything tangible and measurable. It’s the realm of empirical science. That would be “nurture.”

The middle ENERGY level corresponds not only with electricity, but with subtle but measurable energies that yogis call “chi” or “prana.” It’s the level associated with DNA, emotions and “gut” feelings. That’s “nature.”

The innermost level of LIGHT is associated with intangibles, including conscience. That’s the “. . . and More.”

My conclusion:

. . . leaders who intentionally live true their conscience and succeed in linking the levels of life are key to a viable future. The rest of us will depend on them to out-think, out-maneuver and succeed long after pretenders with no substantial connection to the center of life have been blown away like dust in the wind.

Phoenix - sized

And here’s the Essay. Hope you enjoy. Your comments are welcome. If you find this resonant, please share to magnify the effect.

ESSAY 26. DISCIPLINE

Tai ji is a discipline that can help you settle into the experience of your body and your surroundings and re-establish contact with what is happening now. — Chungliang Al Huang, Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain

Obstacles and problems are a part of life. True happiness comes not when we get rid of all our problems, but when we change our relationship to them, when we see our problems as a potential source of awakening, opportunities to practice patience, and to learn. — Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

When our emotions hijack us into overdrive, we react to others without the benefit of reason. By managing our emotions more effectively, we are able to dissolve distressing emotions, which allows us to think more clearly and use our emotional intelligence to make better decisions. — Lambrou & Pratt, Instant Emotional Healing: Acupressure for the Emotions

THE FRONT

“Discipline” comes from the same root as “disciple,” meaning “learner.” Webster’s first definition is a branch of knowledge or learning.

Second, it’s training that develops either

  • self-control, character, or

  • orderliness and efficiency, or

  • strict control to enforce obedience.

Third, it’s the result of such training or control, specifically either self-control and orderly conduct or acceptance of or submission to authority and control.

Fourth, it’s a system of rules, as for a church or monastic order.

Fifth, it’s treatment that corrects or punishes.

The pristine word means love of learning. In self-actualization traditions, discipline refers to the process by which ignorance is decreased and wisdom is increased.

In balanced measure, incorrect ideas and behavior are recognized, corrected and put away, while correct ones are introduced to replace them. This entails digging deeper than cultural conditioning to reconnect with innate potentials and inner aspirations.

The word “correct” is intrinsic to the concept of discipline. Webster’s defines correct as to change from wrong to right, removing errors. The word is also means to make conform to a standard. Further, it means to scold or punish, or to cure, remove or counteract a disease or fault. Correct also means conforming to fact or logic, to be true, accurate or free from errors.

Whether discipline is a joyful privilege or painful punishment

is decided by the motives of involved participants.

If the learning and correction are imposed externally upon unwilling parties, it’s onerous. The subjects can perhaps be forced to alter behavior. No positive inward change results from coercion, however. If anything, force breeds the opposite of intent: resentment and rebellion.

Societies that fail to inspire and foster internal self-discipline therefore pay a high price in the form of escalating crime rates, overburdened judicial systems and costly prisons.

If, however, through the power of example, a sage attracts students hungry for wisdom and self-improvement, then the condition for positive change exists. When the teacher is motivated by compassion and generosity, and students with respect and love of learning, then innate potential for transformation can be actualized.

Negative emotions can be healed and self-mastery achieved. Mutual consent and willing compliance set the stage for improving oneself and, by extension, society.

As correction agents, coercive prisons impose external discipline on people perceived as threats to society. Those capable of inner discipline, however, remain free to use even external confinement to advantage.

For example, during the time he was imprisoned by a political rival, King Wen turned apparent defeat into the opportunity to order the hexagrams of the I Ching and write commentaries. Upon release, he helped found the next Chinese dynasty. The legacy of his steadfast resolve during dark times and ability to transcend adversity remains with us even today.

Nelson Mandela used thirty years of incarceration to carefully examine and correct his character. When the time was right, the extreme revolutionary became South Africa’s most responsible elected leader. His extreme isolation changed to an opposite and equal status of unparalleled international influence.

THE BACK

Absence of discipline is of the opposite of discipline. Though the immature may regard disorganization and irresponsible disrespect for worthy seniors as a measure of freedom, it isn’t. Without self-discipline and self-correction, there is no self-improvement or sustained achievement.

External regimentation can be a perversion of discipline. In the extreme, it suppresses creativity and initiative. Coercive military conscription, slavery, or other involuntary work are violations of free will that degrade the value of life.

 

What You See Is What You Get

This post continues the threads, “If You Love Your Children . . .” and “. . . Tell Them How the World Works.”

Tragically, schools have been being co-opted by ideologues who promote the false belief that the way to end human suffering is to destroy unjust social structures. This brainwashing poses a grave danger to young people. It is more likely to end human life on the planet than to end suffering.

In thinking how to best counter destructive lies, I recalled these lines from Essay Sketches on Positive Action:

WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET.

Life is whatever you choose to make it.

I also remembered the words of a mentor at the Wisconsin School Board Association. Shaking his head, Senn Brown told me, “You are ahead of the times.”

Well, as the song goes, “Something’s lost but something’s gained in living every day.” Though I was already on track, I’ve learned a bit since then.

In If You Love Your Children . . , I described Dr. Peterson’s advice for withstanding unfairness and suffering. It’s summarized in 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos:

Essentially, his book advises people to “man up.” All of us have the potential to be much better than we are. Before criticizing the world, our first responsibility is to improve ourselves with discipline, carving out meaning in our lives as a bulwark against the chaos of life’s inevitable hardships.

Certainly this is excellent advice for coping with circumstances, literally standing on the circle’s rim.

But there’s much more to life than circumstances experienced on the surface. And the origins and solutions to most of our problems lie hidden beneath that surface.

For positive solutions to current circumstances, we have to look deeper. We need to remember the fabulous inherent inner resources whose very existence is denied by believers in shallow, exclusively materialistic science who give us permission to know only that which is tangible, measurable and quantifiable.

In contrast, the wisest among the teachers of any other time and place than our immediate circumstance have consistently told us that we are far more than a physical body.

The rules of this deeper wisdom are summed up in The Positive Paradigm Handbook: Make Yourself Whole Using the Wheel of Change. It lists Seven Axioms which compliment and complete Dr. Peterson’s 12 Rules. They give depth to his assertion that all of us can be much better than we now are.

Consistent with its predecessor, the Book of Change, The Handbook holds:

  • Dysfunctional paradigms tie us in knots. They tear us apart. They drive us crazy. They push us (first individually, then collectively) to murder and even suicide.
  • To survive intact, we must cleave to the essence of the perennial philosophy. The universal Life Wheel is a snapshot of the essential truth which the world’s great religions share in common. It offers us a way out of global madness. It gives us a means for restoring sanity to our world outlook.
  • Peace and positive change necessarily begin one individual at a time, and are accomplished from the inside out. So long as dysfunctional paradigms put individuals at war with themselves, general ignorance will continue to escalate into worldwide conflict.

The Seven Axioms, along with basic corollaries, are based on the multi-dimensional, two-directional Life Wheel that looks like this:

levels of law - sized

These are the axioms:

AXIOM 1.  A complete and correct paradigm is the key to personal well-being and success.

AXIOM 2.  We are each a world complete, containing the potentials of the universe.

AXIOM 3.  Unity at the center and diversity on the surface are necessary compliments.

AXIOM 4.  The consequences of action are inevitable; those who respect the law of karma succeed.

AXIOM 5.  History is cyclical, not linear or progressive; nor can human survival be taken for granted.

AXIOM 6.  Used as a linguistic tool, the Life Wheel promotes clear, accurate and effective communication.

AXIOM 7.  With a correct paradigm, practical methods and useful tools, you can make yourself whole.

book header bird

Here is how I would apply these axioms to answer the radical student’s question to Dr. Peterson about unfairness, alienation and loneliness.

Taking up where I left off in “ . . Tell Them How the World Works,” I mentioned creating images to illustrate written text. This is important, because words function in the analytical (yang) left-brainer mode, while pictures speak to those of us who function primarily in the creative non-verbal (yin) right-brainer mode.

What you do or don’t see, through which ever side of the brain you favor, depends on you. If you’re fortunate to have both sides active, balanced and cooperating harmoniously, all the better.

To refresh your memory, a primary excuse ideologues use to rationalize overthrow of the established order is “thrownness:”

. . you’re a certain race and you’re born with a certain level of intelligence. You’re born in a certain culture with a certain language and in a certain socio-economic class and with a certain degree of attractiveness. And those are all things that are handed to you.

As Dr. Peterson paraphrases their argument:

The talents and catastrophes of life are by no means equally distributed. From the perspective of the standards of human justice and perhaps human mercy as well, there is something intrinsically unfair, unjust about the structure of existence itself.

Here is my picture of the catastrophes that result from living exclusively on the surface, ignorant of the workings of our inner universe. Both center and middle levels of life are repressed to comply with exclusively materialistic rules of the knowledge game.

As an aside, let me emphasize that suffering of the natural world is magnified and twisted beyond recognition by the unnatural, unnecessary overlay of ignorance humans add to the mix.

Unfair-sized

What do you make of it?

At first glance, it makes me think of PTSD victims, suicidal drop-outs, violent protesters and serial killers. At second, it reminds me of Pastor Joe Fox’s survivalist advice. “If you believe you are helpless, that whatever you do makes no difference, that there’s no hope, it’s true.” Believing it makes it so.

To name just a few who rose above harsh circumstances – What if Nelson Mandala, born black in an apartheid nation and incarcerated for dozens of years, had acted on this world view? Or Anne Frank, who hid in an attic from Nazi oppressors until betrayed, and died at age 15 in a concentration camp? Or Helen Keller, left deaf, dumb and blind after an early disease?

In contrast, here’s a picture of life completed by inner wisdom. Mandela, Frank and Keller drew on these resources to overcome harsh circumstances. So can each of us. The image gives new meaning to Dr. Peterson’s repeated advice, “Go deep!”

Life is Mysterious

It reminds me of Solomon’s words, “To everything there is a season.” In a complete world view, through the times friendship, love, work and conflicts, the full spectrum of emotions is in-formed by self-aware introspection and, at the deepest level, the abiding stillness of inner peace.

Based on this world view, I would ever so briefly suggest that each of our present circumstances is the result of a long history of past actions. And our futures depend upon the choices made and actions we take NOW.

Also, as concluded in If You Love Your Children. . . :

What if (like Christ born in a filthy stable) you came here on a soul mission, given challenges perfectly matched to your unique calling – perhaps life lessons to be learned? What if life is complex and mysterious, but inherently just? It’s quite possible.

Phoenix - sized

But this is plenty to absorb for now. Another set of pictures shows an alternative, wisdom response to life’s suffering. But it will wait.

Closing where I started today, my School Board Association mentor, Senn Brown, told me I was ahead of my times. He said this because I warned out of the gate that Affirmative Action legislation missed the point. Not only was it unenforceable. It would trigger inevitable backlash.

I’m one of Camille Paglia’s generation. Toxic, irrelevant universities could not contain creative thinkers. She told Dr. Peterson her peers dropped out, overdosed and disappeared off the radar.

But I chose a less traveled path. Though having no illusions about the University, I completed the Ph.D., committed to earning the credential required to build relevant schools which DO meet students’ needs.

Deeper still, I held fast to the belief that relevant sciences and teachers are still available to those who sincerely seek them. And in that I was not disappointed.

I continue to write, sustained by the hunch that the day is soon coming when I and the times will finally come into synch.

In any case, you might find the rest of the Essay Sketch I opened with interesting:

WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET. Life is whatever you choose to make it. Make cultural heroes of people who pride themselves on their ability to beat the system and stand above the crowd — eager-to-please imitators will strive to replicate that model.

What would the world be like if, instead, value were placed on good will, friendship and cooperation? Not leveling, mind you. Communist experiments in China and Russia have proven that starving personal initiative doesn’t work any better than the everyone-for-himself approach.

Try the middle road. Give Positive Action a chance, and see what you get. Start small, with what can be done in your own personal life and inner circles. The ripples will spread in all directions.

Angel Calling